Capital Area Transit still plans to make bus service changes this year to deal with budget shortfalls, with Cumberland County officials set to meet next week to discuss the county’s transit issues.

Actual service modifications won’t likely be seen until late 2019 or early 2020, according to Rich Farr, executive director of rabbittransit, who also serves in the same role at CAT following an agreement to share administrative functions between the two public agencies.

CAT seeks to shave roughly $2 million, or about 24 percent, from its operating budget, Farr said.

The financially strapped agency, which is jointly funded by Cumberland and Dauphin counties and the city of Harrisburg, exhausted its reserves and has been running on a line of credit, which it will need to pay down in subsequent budgets.

“We are looking at all of the routes and designing a service that is hopefully far more efficient and effective,” Farr said. “Worst case scenario, you remove 24 percent of the service hours.”

CAT has retained a consultant that is working through the most cost-effective route changes, Farr said.

In the meantime, the agency plans to roll out some new initiatives in the next couple weeks. These include pay-with-your-phone ticketing, as well as a change to fare structure that will create more options for bus passes that should result in more net fare revenue.

“It’s a fare increase overall, but we’re also offering a larger variety of passes,” Farr said.

Farr and other local officials are scheduled to attend Cumberland County’s transit forum at 7:30 a.m. July 23 at Comfort Suites in Carlisle. Anyone wishing to attend can register at transitoptionsforum.eventbrite.com or call 717-240-6150. Limited seating is available.

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Email Zack at zhoopes@cumberlink.com.